Sunday, 31 July 2016

Minimalism - 5 Simple Tips

Minimalism is a lifestyle focussed on having more with less. There are many different types of minimalism and its all about finding how it works for you in your life. There is no set rule book that says you should only own a certain amount of items or dress entirely in monochrome. For me it looks like concentrating on the things that add value to my life and letting go of the rest. I also like the minimalist aesthetic in my home (you can read more about my minimalism journey and what minimalism means to me in this blogpost). I have found many benefits to this approach and I wanted to share 5 simple tips with those of you who may be interested in dipping your toes into the minimalist water so to speak. 


You've heard it once you've heard it a thousand times but you're about to hear it again. Taking care of your mental wellbeing is so important. Having a mental declutter and taking time to clear your head will not only make you a healthier and happier person but will also give you better mental clarity to make informed, rational decisions in all areas of life. We apply a minimalist approach to our mental health by putting it quite simply - letting that shit go. By adopting the same attitude we use to review our material possessions and deciding only to keep what serves you and has value and then letting go of the rest. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to incorporate meditation into your day. Taking just 5 minutes per day to declutter your mind will do wonders for you. I would highly recommend downloading the free Rituals app and taking advantage of the fantastic guided meditations available within the app. 


There seems to be a correlation at the moment between minimalism and veganism. The two seem to go hand in hand and whilst I think vegans are awesome I want to stress that to apply a minimalist approach to your diet does not mean you have to be vegan. A lot of minimalists are concerned with the environmental impacts of mass consumerism and consumption and this is one of the many reasons several minimalists choose to adopt a vegan diet. I would say you should eat however you want and however makes you happy - absolutely no-one has the right to tell you how you should or shouldn't be eating. That being said if you were looking to apply a little bit of minimalism to the foods you are consuming maybe look to reduce the amount of processed foods you are including in your diet - this not only helps the environment but is better for your health too. The same applies to exercise, find what works for you and stick with that for a while. You may have to try several different activities before you find a few that you really enjoy, just be mindful not to spread yourself too thinly and be doing 16 classes a week with 4 runs and 3 yoga sessions crammed in ;) 


One of my favourite quotes is "Outer order contributes to inner calm". I heard this on Gretchen Ruben's podcast and it has stayed with me ever since. It really is true that having an clean orderly environment has a positive impact on your wellbeing and energy.
Although this is an obvious one maybe you could look at a few small ways of simplifying your space. You know how the saying goes tidy home = tidy mind. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Condo is a great place to start but if not just have a look around the space you spend the most time in an identify any clutter spots - kitchen counters and underneath the coffee table are two common areas where "stuff" just starts gathering. Do you really need all of that stuff on your work top or can the salt and pepper, olive oil and numerous other items live in the cupboard? The chances are these areas will take around 5 minutes to clear and although it is so simple it is extremely satisfying and effective. 


However you hustle to pay the bills each month a little mindfulness in the work department goes a long way. You can start applying minimalism to your work life by making a conscious effort to stop determining your self worth by the amount of tasks you get ticked off your to do list each day. Be realistic with your daily to do list and approach each task one at once. I can't tell you how many times I have started doing something at work only to get distracted by an email, then start working through my inbox, then start doing something else to then go back to the original task and be thinking "what am I doing?" Minimalism is all about having more with less in all areas of life. There is no reason why this can't be applied to productivity too. 


I could talk about minimalism and money until the cows come home as this is an area of personal struggle and development for me. Taking care of your money and investing in your financial freedom is one of the most important things you can do for yourself (in my opinion) Not having to live from payday to payday is something within all of our reach if we learn to take control of our finances. One key thing you can do to apply minimalism to your money is to create a budget and stick to it. There are tons of free budget templates available online that will empower you to see exactly what you have coming in and going out each month. By doing this exercise you can then start to identify areas where you are wasting money that would be much better off in the bank. Now don't get me wrong I absolutely think you should treat yo'self with your hard earned cash but when those treats aren't really of value to you and just end up being donated to charity or sat unloved in a cupboard or wardrobe you have to think did I really need that? I'm not saying you can't have a blow out or spend your money however the hell you want but what I am saying is that if you want to apply minimalism to your wallet try and be a little more mindful around your purchases. 

I hope you find some of these tips useful - let me know in the comments if you have any minimalism tips.

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  1. Fantastic article! I've downloaded the rituals app and have printed out a budget template. Thanks so much! -Tricia

  2. Amazing tips! I can't wait to move into my new house and start sorting through my belongings. Whilst I have been packing, there have been things that I had completely forgotten about. You have helped me so so much in the money department and now I am following your journey!


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